How To Improve Your Memory
As we grow older, we all start to notice some changes in our ability to remember things. Memory lapses can occur at any age, but we tend to get more upset by them as we get older because we fear they’re a sign of dementia, or loss of intellectual function.
The fact is, significant memory loss in older people isn’t a normal part of aging — but is due to organic disorders, brain injury, or neurological illness, with Alzheimer’s being among the most feared. Here are some tips so that you can gain more control over your mind.
Challenging your brain with mental exercise is believed to activate processes that help maintain individual brain cells and stimulate communication among them.
Use all your senses
The more senses you use in learning something, the more of your brain will be involved in retaining the memory. Challenge all your senses as you venture into the unfamiliar.
Believe in yourself
If you believe you can improve and you translate that belief into practice, you have a better chance of keeping your mind sharp.
Economize your brain use
Take advantage of calendars and planners, maps, shopping lists, file folders, and address books to keep routine information accessible. Designate a place at home for your glasses, purse, keys, and other items you use often.
Repeat what you want to know
When you want to remember something you’ve just heard, read, or thought about, repeat it out loud or write it down. That way, you reinforce the memory or connection. If you place one of your belongings somewhere other than its usual spot, tell yourself out loud what you’ve done.
Space it out
It’s best not to repeat something many times in a short period, as if you were cramming for an exam. Instead, re-study the essentials after increasingly longer periods of time: once an hour, then every few hours, then every day.
Make a mnemonic
This is a creative way to remember lists. Mnemonic devices can take the form of acronyms (such as RICE to remember first-aid advice for injured limbs: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation) or sentences (such as the classic “Every good boy does fine” to remember the musical notes E, G, B, D, and F on the lines of the treble clef).